Featured ‘Day in the life of’: Tayler, reproductive biochemistry PhD student.


Hi! My name is Tayler (Click here for Instagram) and I’m a PhD student in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Murdoch University. My PhD is in reproductive biochemistry, and my research focuses on oxidative stress and chromatin damage in ram sperm cells. I also teach in a few undergrad classes, so am kept pretty busy most of the time. Depending on the week, not all of my days are the same, but this is an average day for me!


0704: I like to exercise first thing, and usually get up around 0600 to train (boxing, circuits and resistance training, usually) but I’m currently training to (eventually) run a half marathon, so am integrating running into my training three days a week. As a female human, I was not keen on running around the lake in the dark (it is winter in Australia), so I waited until it was almost light outside and did a half hour session.


0731: I stopped to take this picture during my cool down walk back around the lake.


0900: I am running behind schedule today due to training at 0700 instead of 0600, so didn’t eat breakfast until 0900 after I was dressed and ready to go.


1008: Depending on whether I’m spending the morning at the campus farm (where my research sheep live), teaching a class, in the lab or in my office, I usually arrive at uni between 0800 and 0900. Today I was a bit later than usual due to my slow start!


Bonus picture! : Disclaimer- I didn’t actually take this today, but since an average day for me does include feeding or taking samples from my sheep, I wanted to include one. The sheep I am working with are quite young (around ten months old in this picture), so some days I like to just sit and pat them and give them treats, which I find helps them be calm around me/others and not freak out when they’re restrained.


1102: I’m the only one in the office (I share with one of the production animal vets, and he’s often out doing farm visits), so am catching up on emails and writing up an experiment protocol while it’s so quiet (in fact, the whole building is empty except for me!).


1216: Catching up with a friend for coffee, an important part of any day! My BB8 KeepCup I got for my birthday last year accompanies me every day (I’m usually pretty good at remembering to wash it and bring it with me).


1339: Eating lunch at my desk (sometimes I go outside or meet friends, sometimes I just sit and work through) and reading over a protocol I am writing up for some experiments over the next couple of weeks.


1445: I’m not actually doing any lab work today, but did come in to check a few things and confirm that the ingredients of the extender (the special media used for sperm cells to keep them happy and fed) will work polarity/pH wise with the herbal supplement extracts I’ll be using in the next couple of experiments.


1525: Having some tea and working out the concentration of a drug I want to use, based on similar (very limited) in vitro experiments in the literature. I feel like I’m being watched…


1633: Not usually a part of my day, but my landlord is on holiday and I’m looking after her dog, Zeus, so we are off out for a walk.


1807: Dinner time! I made a batch of vegetables with buckwheat pasta and feta the other day, so have been having this for lunches and dinners this week.


1940: I’m not usually in bed this early, but I had a shocking sleep last night so I’m super tired. I think I fell asleep around an hour after this!

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